The launch of TAPA EMEA’s Parking Security Requirements (PSR) is giving Parking Place Operators (PPO) the opportunity to adopt an industry standard recognised and needed by a growing community of Manufacturers and Logistics Service Providers.

Just six weeks on from the full launch of the PSR Standard, the number of PSR sites in the EMEA region has already risen to 24 and more PPOs are currently engaged with TAPA’s Secure Parking Working Group as part of their preparations to meet the new TAPA Standard.

In another positive development in the past month, the European Commission said it has earmarked €178 million to help co-finance secure parking places with entrepreneurs in the coming years to help reduce the risk of cargo thefts. This will be focused on increasing security parking along Europe’s most frequently used freight transport corridors. 

Research shared by the Commission this month as part of its study on ‘Safe & Secure Parking Places for Trucks’ stated that:

·         Two-third of drivers surveyed said they had to deal with unsafe situations in parking places

·         86% agreed there is a shortage of sufficiently safe parking facilities

·         Drivers, transport companies and shippers said there is too little accurate information about the availability of safe parking places

·         There are too few possibilities to book secure parking places

·         There is a need for a certification system for safe parking places which can be used across the EU


TAPA’s PSR is addressing these concerns by giving PPOs the chance to meet the full security parking requirements of companies moving high value, theft targeted goods. There are three ways parking place owners and operators can participate in TAPA’s secure parking programme:

Parking Security Partner

PPOs sign a declaration to become a TAPA PSR Partner to confirm that basic security controls are in place and the location of the site or sites concerned then benefits from visibility to buyers of secure parking via the Association’s online secure parking tool. Membership of the programme is renewed annually.


This is the entry level to PSR and is based on a self-certification audit against PSR Level 3 and the issuing of TAPA certification that is valid for 3 years. Again, the site will be included in TAPA’s online secure parking tool and the Association will conduct sample audits of self-certified sites.

Independent Audit Body (IAB) Certification (Levels 1, 2, and 3)

The full certification programme has three levels with TAPA Parking Security Requirements (PSR) certification by Independent Audit Bodies. These classification levels are:


         PSR Level 1 = highest security protection with a formal certification

         PSR Level 2 = mid-level security protection with a formal certification

         PSR Level 3 = lowest security protection with a formal certification


All of the PPO sites meeting Levels 1, 2 or 3 will be promoted to TAPA EMEA members, who are being encouraged to use the online parking tool to manage risk in their transportation planning process. The TAPA solution gives users quick and easy access to route mapping which allows them to enter a route, see the cargo crimes recorded nearby, and identify the nearest TAPA-approved secure parking locations. They also receive contact information for each site to answer any further enquiries they may have and to help expedite the booking process.


TAPA’s Secure Parking Online Tool (SPOT) is already giving members visibility of parking sites in       

Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United Kingdom – and the number of sites and countries will increase even further by the end of the year.

Vigilant spoke to two of the Parking Place Operators which have helped TAPA achieve two important PSR milestones:


  • Formula International Truckstop in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, in the United Kingdom is the first Parking Place Operator to achieve PSR Level 3 certification
  • Bridgewater Logistics is the first PPO in Africa to become PSR Level 3 certified    


In the UK, Formula International’s participation in the PSR programme was actively encouraged and supported by the booking platford operator SNAP Account. SNAP has an MoU with TAPA EMEA to support its PSR programme and is an influential and welcome supporter of PSR, especially as it will soon be developing more partnerships in Germany, Denmark, the south of France and Spain.


Nick Long, Site Liaison Manager at SNAP Account, commented: “For us, PSR is a fantastic way of being able to open people’s eyes to how they can improve their site security and facilities. Some of it represents very basic, straightforward solutions that require little to no investment. Not many people had heard of security ratings before in the UK, but as soon as you talk people through it, they realise that is makes complete sense, especially as there is no direct cost attached to PSR Level 3 and the operator can complete free online training provided by TAPA.”


Along with colleague Rob Rose, Nick completed the TAPA PSR training to gain the knowledge required to audit the locations SNAP works with. He says: “The response has been great, and now more so after the first PSR Level 3 certification was achieved by Formula International, which has also been voted UK Truckstop of the Year.” He hopes that all of the parking sites SNAP works with will be TAPA PSR-approved by the end of 2019, adding: “We are working with TAPA to make the process as easy as possible for the site operator. We hope that around 25 more sites will have completed the PSR Partnership before Christmas.”


How important is it to SNAP Account and the parking sites it uses that PSR is a security standard that has been developed by the industry, for the industry?


Nick says: “The PSR sets a minimum standard and something that is great for operators to base improvements or new builds on. For us that’s the main aim. If you combine TAPA’s FSR, TSR and PSR, you become more resilient to organised crime. From the way we have seen TAPA grow in the past year, it just shows that the work the Association does is infectious. People want to be a part of something that is making a direct impact on a day-to-day basis. I think it also helps that so many industry people give their time to TAPA to positively impact this. The benefits to the PPO of operating a TAPA-approved site are obvious; firstly, a more secure site with less worries. Secondly, there is for sure some positive financial impact. I think it’s obvious that if fleet managers know there is a choice of a PSR site versus a non-PSR site, they will choose the more secure option every time.”


Gerry Graham, General Manager of Formula International at Ellesmere Port, clearly agrees.


The site opened in July 2015 and offers 110 parking spaces, priced from £16.00 plus VAT per 24 hours to £23.00 plus VAT per 24 hours including a meal voucher. Both costs include full use of the site’s facilities, including showers, toilets, laundry and fitness rooms, TV lounge and messroom. The site has 24 hours manned security, 36 CCTV Cameras, ANPR, and electric gates to close down the site if required.


Formula International was drawn to TAPA’s PSR for a variety of reasons; previous experience around vehicle security, the opportunity to attract different customers, its liaison with SNAP, and ongoing commitment to raising the standards of its site.


So, how long did the process take? Gerry comments: “Around 6-9 months in total. The process was fine and helped by the support of SNAP. It was mainly a case of getting the site to adopt a different approach, including procedures/documents etc, and convincing the business owners of the rewards the PSR Level 3 Standard would bring to the site. I personally believe this is the way forward and, slowly but surely, I believe hauliers/businesses will all adopt the same approach because the issues around vehicle damage, loss of loads, curtains being slashed etc will have an impact on insurance costs. We must also remember that drivers need secure premises too so they can feel safe. I would like to think we will move towards PSR Level 2 based on customer response to Level 3.  


“I hope our site will now be even more attractive to hauliers who want a secured parking site and who will appreciate our site and facilities. I would also hope that we gain additional exposure by having the TAPA Standard.”


As every supply chain security professional in EMEA knows, it’s not only in Europe where they need to manage a growing threat to products being transported onboard trucks. One of the greatest and most frequent risks is that facing operators in South Africa, where recent data published by the South African Police Service (SAPS) reported over 1,200 truck hijackings in 12 months.


As part of its commitment to supply chain security, Bridgewater Logistics also sees TAPA’s PSR as another effective tool in its armoury as it seeks to raise the bar for cargo security in South Africa.


Quinton De Villiers, Managing Director, explains the company’s approach to secure parking: “If you consider the risks facing supply chains in South Africa, it’s clear the country has seen a radical increase in lawlessness over the years and this has not left the logistics industry untouched. Cargo theft from various stages of the supply chain is becoming more evident, as opposed to merely truck hijackings.


Syndicates are becoming far more sophisticated in their modus operandi, and now have people placed inside the supply chain, feeding information on cargo and vehicle movements. Rather than the ‘attack and surprise’ approach, syndicates have intelligence on what cargo is moving where and when, and as such can plan ‘shopping lists’ and target specific commodities and/or vehicles.


“From a transporter’s perspective, there has also been a shift to increased thefts of cargo at stopover points where vehicles and drivers are robbed during rest breaks. Typically, this is as a result of stops in high risk areas or at Truck Stops where operators feel they should be safer and more protected, but in fact they’re not. Reported incidents are typically theft of cargo by cutting through tarpaulins and curtains while drivers are sleeping or taking comfort breaks, theft of diesel, and, more recently, theft of wheels, which is on the rise. So, secure parking will make a tremendous difference in terms of the security of drivers, vehicles and loads.” 


Richard Venter – National Sales Manager at Bridgewater Logistics – says there is currently very little security on major routes, aside from vehicle tracking by individual companies, forcing drivers to ‘push through without stopping’ on long-hauls for fear of thefts or hijackings. Not surprisingly, this produces other types of risks such as driver fatigue, and the loss of cargo, vehicles, and, more importantly, lives, as a result of traffic accidents.


Bridgewater learned about PSR by attending TAPA’s Regional Conference in Johannesburg last year. As a member of the Association, it immediately seized on the opportunity to raise the level of security further at its first parking facility, located in Pomona in the Kempton Park area of Gauteng province.


“Opening the parking facility was born out of the diversification of our service offering as a whole. We have always been a primary player in the transport and logistics industry and, through experience gained, we realised the need for secure facilities to service not only our own operations, but the Industry as a whole as well. We plan to expand on this and establish similar secure parking areas in South Africa and we will ensure that all new facilities are TAPA certified as well. As time goes on, we also intend to increase our certification levels to comply with the more stringent security requirements of our clients,” Richard adds.


The Pomona facility is open to third parties and offers 50 parking spaces as well as additional services including a restaurant, truck wash bay, wheel and tyre fitting centre, and ablutions. A refuelling facility is also going to be installed. Security at the site includes 24-hour guarding as well as off-site monitoring of cameras that are installed across the entire property. The area is also floodlit at night and an Independent Armed Response Company is on standby round-the-clock to respond to any potential incidents.


Embracing all of the benefits of TAPA membership is also uppermost in Bridgewater’s thinking.


Quinton says: “Achieving PSR Level 3 took approximately four months and we are now very proud to promote our services as having the TAPA certification. Our certification level is clearly displayed on signage at our entrance. As with our mainstream Bridgewater Logistics Business, the TAPA Standard holds definite benefits for us and enables us to ensure the security of all operations on site, and to all our customers sites around the country. We adhere to TAPA requirements at all times. Access to additional high value/consequence markets is also a benefit of having the certification.


“TAPA EMEA have been extremely supportive of our efforts from the highest levels, and have assisted us wherever possible with quick responses to questions and valuable advice as we have moved along. Bridgewater Logistics will be going for full certification of all our operations in 2019 because the customer response to our certification has been overwhelming. It adds additional comfort for them to know that we adhere to such stringent requirements for the security of freight, drivers, and vehicles.”


Engagement with other PPOs in EMEA is reinforcing TAPA’s view of the demand for its PSR Standard – and industry support so far clearly indicates parking place owners are welcoming the opportunity to actively embrace a secure parking standard that their customers – and potential customers - not only want to support but have also spent two years helping to design to meet all of their security requirements. More will come.